Cash-strapped Zim finance minister announces hefty new traffic fines

2015-11-27 14:34
Patrick Chinamasa. (AFP)

Patrick Chinamasa. (AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Special Report

I won't protect corrupt officials, says Mugabe
I won't protect corrupt officials, says Mugabe

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has said that he won't be protecting any government officials accused of corruption, adding that those accused of graft must, however, be given a chance to answer for their crimes in a court of law, reports say.

Harare - Zimbabwe’s finance minister Patrick Chinamasa has announced steep new fines of more than R1000 for various traffic offences in a move that would be widely resented and seen as another attempt at raising desperately-needed cash.

In his parliamentary budget speech on Thursday, he said the current scale of fines did not “promote safety and discipline on the roads”.

“The traffic fines are also generally lower than those obtaining in the region,” he claimed. 

The minister said motorists who went through red traffic lights; overtook on solid white lines; drove without licences and did not have working foot brakes would now receive a $100 (R1 435) fine, up from $20 (R287).

He also doubled the fines for cutting corners, running amber traffic lights or engaging in “abusive behaviour” (towards police officers) from the current $10 (R143.50).

The tough new measure prompted a backlash on social media - and jokes that traffic cops could pocket much more in bribes.

Fine or bribe?

Traffic cops generally demand drivers pay up their fine (or a bribe) straight away. Whereas previously a common bribe was $10 (R143.50) for a $20 (R287), the suspicion now was drivers would be asked to pay a $50 (R717.50) to get out of a $100 (R1 435) find.

"If they catch u bribe will be $50. On a good day [an officer] can get more than 10 cars," tweeted prominent local journalist Zenzele Ndebele.

Tweeted @chiwunze: "$100 fine if u cross a red light & $20 fine if u go agnst an amber. Now ther z room 4 rent seeking by police." Other Zimbabweans joked it was time to change professions and join the police force.

Police say the money they collect was subject to an external audit, but some have been caught taking bribes.

Last year Zimbabwe’s tax chief Gershem Pasi invited the wrath of senior police officers after he suggested the force was earning up to $7m (R100m) per month from fines.

The police said the figure was much lower.

Read more on:    zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.


Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.